Tolstoy plant-based eatery

Architecture projects

Tolstoy is a vegan eatery that intends to be the new wave of fast-food restaurants. Its concept is based on four main ideas: digital, plant-based, transparency and joy. While planning, the design of the 60s came to mind, when the society was reborn, vegetarianism exploded and colors were a part of a positive statement. We right away thought about a colorful, funky and optimistic place.

How to create a practical but comfortable and appealing space?

Colors and materials were important to represent the space’s identity. Metal was chosen for its flexible and resistant attributes, ideal for a more dynamic place like a restaurant; wood for being an organic and comfortable material, to which people feel more connected; the tiles for being a more practical and easy to clean material, bringing lightness and freshness to the space. Regarding the colors, green relates to nature and serenity, and orange relates to energy and spontaneity, balancing the environment.

How to create a flexible space, adaptable to different customer’s daily lives?

Overall, we intended to create a flexible space, adapted to people’s daily needs. Therefore, Tolstoy was organized in three different sitting areas: the central area, the most social, where people can enjoy more time and space eating together; the windows area, perfect for who wants to relax and enjoy the view outside; the mirror area, a place for people in a hurry, who want just a quick bite or a coffee. Furniture was designed in a way to encourage people to change, to adapt and mix the three areas.

How to humanize a digital fast-food space, full of screens and tablets?

One of our main focuses was to humanize a digital vegan fast-food space, full of screens and tablets. We embraced Tolstoy digital elements and efficiency by integrating them in a more human and engaging environment. It was important to build a space that people feel connected to! Despite being a self-service restaurant, it was important to create an element, a metal cupboard, that would respond to the needs of the customer area and the employees, uniting both areas and somehow humanizing the space. The goal was to integrate in the cupboard all the digital elements and all the more practical functions that the space needed (garbage, cutlery, trays area, etc.). In this same cupboard was placed the service countertop, an open element between the kitchen and the eating area, making it visible to everyone. We also left room for plants and ornaments, turning the space into a more empathic one.

How to create a symbolic element for the restaurant?

We designed a niche with Leo Tolstoy’s bust. A niche itself was a surprise, discovered by our construction team during the works. During our trip to Brazil, we were influenced by the culture of altars and the way humans can be so devoted to something they believe in. So, we decided to design a sort of a symbolic element for Tolstoy, but with a specific aesthetic that came from an internet movement called Vaporwave. This movement brings together old neoclassical sculptures and late 90s web design (human vs digital), which perfectly fits the concept of Tolstoy as a digital plant-based eatery